Under the Lake
Episode / March 2, 2016

Aired 3 October 2015 Toby Whithouse returns to the worlds of Doctor Who for the first time since ‘A Town Called Mercy,’ penning a very good opener in ‘Under the Lake’ that makes use of many of the most trusted stylings of many classic Doctor Who tales that have come before it. In 2119 Scotland, an underwater mining corporation has salvaged a mysterious ship; the commander is quickly torched by the ship’s engines but is soon revived- albeit still clearly dead and with menacing black holes for eyes- and joined by another ghostly figure in a top hat. Featuring a claustrophobic base under siege, a seemingly endless amount of corridors, and a diverse multinational crew, the setup is certainly nothing new, but the end result is something quite special, indeed, as the Troughton era meets Capaldi’s Doctor head on. Daniel O’Hara makes his Doctor Who directorial debut here, and it’s apparent from the start that he knows exactly how to maximise on the sense of claustrophobia and tension that the setting affords. Just as importantly, though, is that the ghostly threat is brought to life exceedingly well. The CGI effects are superb, embracing the human basis for the figures, and…